I know it’s only January, but I also know how if things don’t get on the calendar early they don’t get done. So I want to let you Florida teachers, parents, and community educators know about some in and out of school events coming up that will be a lot of fun, will give you tons of resources, will provide a boost of inspiration for your 2014 spring and fall gardens!

For those of you not in Florida, never fear! I haven’t forgotten about you! Check out the Seeds to Sprout below to get info on similar state and regional events. It can also be fun to attend events in other states as well–the information definitely cross pollinates!

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First is the 34th annual League of Environmental Educators in Florida (LEEF) conference. This will be a great time for all with a weekend filled with nature based fun out at Ocala National Forest. The dates are March 21-23 and the theme is Celebrating 50 Years of the Wilderness Act. There will be keynotes including Steve Archibald of Arthur Carhart National Wilderness Training Center, presentations (maybe me-I’ll keep you posted), workshops, field trips, and vendors (including me!).

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This is a conference for all teachers wishing to integrate environmental studies into their classrooms and schools, not only environmental ed teachers. There will be many interesting focuses including:

Environmental FocusAnimals/Wildlife, Biodiversity, Climate Change/Weather, Ecology, Habitat Enhancement – Native Plants, Habitats/Ecosystems, Invasive Species, Nature Awareness, Place-based Education, Soil, Sustainability, Trees/Forests, Water, Watershed

Academic FocusArts – Visual, Health, Interdisciplinary, Math, Science, Social Studies, Technology

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The next event isn’t so much an out of school  event as an in school celebration day. It’s Florida Agriculture in the Classroom’s Agriculture Literacy Day, April 29, 2014. This is a great opportunity to get the school or community focusing on all the wonderful aspects that local agriculture has to offer. It is a fantastic way to introduce place studies through food!

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Corn harvest at Dudley Farm

There is a coloring contest (get started the deadline to enter this is Jan. 24) and lots of books and resources (all standard aligned) available for those wanting to get involved. There is a new children’s book released that revolves around Florida agriculture to link and inspire literacy initiatives and agriculture. The site also has PDF downloads of past Ag Literacy Day books, K-5 activities, and resources too. These resources can definitely be used by teachers in other states for an idea springboard if nothing else!

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Coordinate a field trip to learn about historic agriculture in central Florida at Dudley Farm!

!I think this can be a fun educational event that will really help teachers integrate their gardens, agricultural concepts, economic geography, place studies, and ecological literacy across their language arts and history curriculum strands. One way you can get your school involved is by having an industry professional (such as an FFA teacher or student, IFAS Extension Agent, FL Farm Bureau member, FL Cattlemen and Women members, and more) come and read the story to your students and answer questions about local agriculture. This is a great way to tie the community into the learning and put actual faces with the agricultural jobs.

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Or how about a field trip to the Florida Agricultural Museum in St. Augustine?

Get involved with a conference or event today and tie agriculture, environmental education across all your curriculum areas! Get inspired with interdisciplinary hands on learning to meet your academic goals in a fun, interesting, and locally place-based meaningful way today!

How do you like to integrate agricultural concepts into your classroom? 

Will you be attending any EE conferences this spring? Share which ones and let’s connect!

Know of an EE conference around the world I didn’t mention? Let us know about it! Share it!

Seeds to Sprout:

LEEF Conference information and registration

Florida Ag in the Classroom’s Agriculture Literacy Day

Looking for a fun way to introduce economic geography to 1st-3rd grade students? Check out these economic geography stamps. I had them in my classroom and they were always a favorite material. Use with national or local maps.

Friends of Dudley Farm and Dudley Farm State Park

The Florida Agricultural Museum

Southeast regional EE events and national educator travel opportunities

The Delaware Association for Environmental Education annual conference, Feb 1, 2014.

The Pennsylvania Association of Environmental Educators annual conference, March 14-15, 2014

The Wisconsin Association for Environmental Education annual conference, August 13-15, 2014

The Utah Society for Environmental Education annual conference, October 2014

The Environmental Education Alliance of Georgia annual conference, March 28-29, 2014

The Spring 2014 TED Conference in Vancouver BC, March 17-21, 2014

 

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The Ag Tag helps to financially support FL Ag in the Classroom and Ag Literacy Day books!

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